Biography : Pankaj Advani
Billiards & Snooker: Teen Age Sindhi World Champion :: Padma Shri
Brilliance, Intelligence and capacity to tackle the situations are tested when a person enters in a non traditional field for him. People of Sindhi community have proved from time to time that they are not only king of business field but also masters of the various other walks of human life as proved by Prem Ramchandani [Defense Service], Ram Jethmalani & L K Advani [Politics], Narendra Hirwani - the world Record creator Cricketer, Rajkumar Hirani [Performing Arts].
This time it was proved by teen age Pankaj Advani, though a very very few Sindhis get diverted from their traditional field of business, but whenever they do so , no obstacle is enough of preventing them from reaching the highest peak of the field. Pankaj was born on 24 th July 1985 in Pune in Maharashtra.
In Marathi a Saying goes like Murti Lahan Kirti Mahan which means the Name or appearance is not so big but the fame is beyond the comparison and Pankaj is living example for it. He bagged three World Titles before completing the teen age, the importance of his fate become more significant as he reached the destination by defeating seven time Billiard World Champion Legendary Geet Sethi.
Soon after the birth of Pankaj the Advani family shifted to Kuwait, but the early death of his father forced the family to come back to India in 1990. Family was settled in the Garden City Bangalore, Where the schooling [Frank Anthony School] and college education of Pankaj was in progress when he crowned as the World Champion. Former National Snooker Champion Arvind Savur saw him in 1995 at Bangalore's Karnataka State Billiards Hall, Where he was present with elder brother Shree. Sensing the talent of Pankaj, Arvind started guiding & coaching him the basics of the game though at that time Pankaj was so young that he was not reaching the table height. It was Pankaj's extra ordinary talent and guidance of Arvind that before celebrating the 14 th birthday, Pankaj become capable of posting century breaks.
In the year 2003 at the tender age of 18 Pankaj was crowned as World Snooker Champion. In 2005 When he defeated legendary Geet Sethi, the reaction of former champion was " Advani become the undisputed Prince of World of Billiards. He has already collected three World Titles and is not yet of 20. One Wonders how many World titles he will end up with, in a sport which allow a player to be at one's competitive best for at least two decades." He is the only one in the world to win twin titles (point and time formats) at the IBSF world billiards championships, not once but twice.
The traditional quality of sindhi community of keeping the calm in the disasters has helped a lot to Pankaj specially in the matches he won by overcoming the trailing situation. Keep your all the good wishes reserved for him and pray the Waheguru to bless him so he become capable of bringing more and more pride for community and Mother India.
Some of earlier Championship titles of Pankaj Advani, year by year are listed below
1997 : 27th BS Sampath Memorial Handicap Snooker Championship - T.A. Selvaraj Memorial Billiards Championship - Karnataka Stage Junior Snooker Championship
1998 : Karnataka State Junior Snooker Championship
1999 : Pot Shot All India Triangular Championship - Pot Shot non-medallist Championship
2000 : Indian Junior Billiards Championship
2003 : IBSF World Snooker Championship - Indian Junior Billiards Championship - Indian Junior Snooker Championship
2005 : World Billiards Championship
2006 : Gold Medal Ashiada At Doha
2008 : IBSF World Billiard Championship [Point Format] by defeating legendary Geet Sethi at Bangalore
2009 : Professional World Billiard Championship [ Only second Indian player after Geet Sethi]
2010 : Asian Games Gold Medal
2011 : Semi Final Stage of World Billiard Championship
2012:: World Billiard Championship [Timed]
2014:: World Billiard Championship [Points]
Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratana :
The highest sport award of India for the year 2005 was awarded to Pankaj. He was nominated for the award along with cricket player Rahul Dravid and Tennis player Mahesh Bhupati. After the Abhinav Bindra [Age :20 years], Pankaj Advani [Age : 21 years] is the second youngest player to be honored with this prestigious award. On 29-08-2006 President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam felicitated him and handed over the award.
In the 2009 He was facilitated with Padma Shri Award and in 2017 with Padma Bhushan.